Letter to The Editor, October 22, 2018
It is important to emphasize that the developers of Lift One Lodge and Gorsuch Haus are committed to paying 100 percent of all city development fees. We are not requesting any fee waivers. We are not asking the city of Aspen to contribute any money toward the construction of our projects.
The Aspen Daily News article on Oct. 18 about the draft cost-sharing agreement for the Lift One Corridor Plan does not adequately separate the developers’ projects from the public assets that are part of the corridor plan. The draft cost-sharing agreement is a way for the city to invest in public benefits and amenities — new landscaped park space, a ski history museum and the restoration of historic Lift 1 and its towers.
The Lift One Corridor plan is a public-private partnership that achieves the long-held community goal of bringing Lift 1A back into town and celebrating the historic character of Aspen’s original base area, where skiing in Aspen began. The discussions and compromises made so far demonstrate the best of what a public-private partnership can be.
The many stakeholders associated with the Lift One Corridor Plan all want to see it succeed for the neighborhood, ski area and community.
As the article in the Aspen Daily News points out, “The plan involves redesigning two existing city parks and creating a new city park on the Dolinsek property acquired in 2015, to allow the placement of the new lift terminal and return skiing.” The Lift One Corridor Plan will also restore the Skiers Chalet Lodge and transfer ownership of the building to the Aspen Historical Society where it will house the Aspen Ski History Museum.
The draft cost-sharing agreement asks the city of Aspen to allocate a portion of the development fees paid by Lift One Lodge and Gorsuch Haus to create inviting year-round parks, support the relocation and restoration of the Skiers Chalet Lodge, and restore and highlight the historic Lift 1 bull wheel and towers. Lift One Lodge and Gorsuch Haus together are committing close to $3 million towards relocation and restoration of the Skiers Chalet Lodge.
The draft cost-sharing agreement asks the city to commit up to $3.6 million toward the Skiers Chalet Lodge and to apply the tree removal fees paid by Lift One Lodge for their site toward planting new trees in the city-owned park spaces around the new Lift 1A base area and plaza.
Everyone will benefit from a second portal to Aspen Mountain that is incredibly open, brings vitality to the area, and preserves historical assets that provide immediate visual history at the base. This second portal, which is 500-feet lower elevation than Lift 1A, will also fulfill a community goal of reducing traffic in town by making mountain access easier for pedestrians.
The proposal is for the City of Aspen to continue with this collaborative effort by investing in the neighborhood.
Michael Brown and Jim DeFrancia
Lift One Lodge and Gorsuch Haus